MLB Rumors

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Rockies sign Betancourt, Quintanilla to minor-league deals
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

The Rockies signed former closer Rafael Betancourt and infielder Omar Quintanilla to minor-league contracts Friday, per MLB.com. 

Quintanilla spent the last two seasons with the Mets, while Betancourt did not pitch in the majors in 2014 as he was working his way back from Tommy John surgery. He did pitch in the minors, going 2-0 with a 4.66 ERA.

"I have another chance," Betancourt said by phone from his offseason home in Orlando, Fla. "Compared to how it was last year or even when I was pitching in games, I feel a lot more normal now.

"When I threw for the Rockies last week, I threw all my pitches -- fastball, changeup and breaking ball. Last year, I didn't throw any breaking balls, because my arm felt weird. It's 16 months after surgery and everything is going well. I'm also happy the Rockies stuck with me; they have a new GM [Jeff Bridich] but still were there for me, and I appreciate that."

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Ronald Belisario not likely to sign with Blue Jays
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

Reliever Ronald Belisario is no longer likely to sign a contract with the Blue Jays, and it appears he will sign with another team, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

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Blue Jays sign veteran Ramon Santiago to minor-league deal
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

The Blue Jays announced Friday they signed infielder Ramon Santiago to a minor-league contract, which includes an invite to spring training.

The 35-year-old Santiago has spent most of his 13-year MLB career in the AL. He spent his first season in the NL in 2014 with the Reds. He hit .246 with two home runs and 17 RBI in 75 games for Cincinnati last season.

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Brewers designate Elian Herrera for assignment Friday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

Brewers infielder/outfielder Elian Herrera was designated for assignment Friday to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for pitcher Neal Cotts.

Herrera hit .274 with no home runs, one triple, seven doubles and five RBI in 69 games for Milwaukee in 2014.

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Red Sox's Workman preparing to compete for a spot in rotation
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

With the offseason acquisitions of Rick Porcello, Wade Miley and Justin Masterson, Red Sox pitcher Brandon Workman chances of making the opening-day rotation have significantly decreased. Workman knows his best chance of making the roster will be as a reliever, but he still expects to show up to spring training competing for a spot in the rotation, per ESPN.

“I’m going in there looking forward to competing, hopefully winning a spot,” Workman said. “I’d like to be in the rotation. I’m hoping I can win a job in the starting rotation but we’ll see how that goes. I’m doing everything I can right now to prepare for it and get ready to put myself in a good spot to compete for that job.” 

Workman struggled last season, going 1-10 with a 5.17 ERA in 19 appearances at the major-league level. Although, most of his struggles came as a starter. He went 1-9 with a 5.36 ERA in 15 starts, while going 0-1 with a 2.84 ERA in four relief appearances.

“My stuff kind of fell off at the end of last year,” Workman said. “I wasn’t bringing the same stuff to the table that I was at the beginning of the year and that made it tougher on me. But even with that, I feel like if I would have executed better I still would have been able to get the job done."

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Brewers still interested in adding closer-type reliever
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

Brewers assistant general Gord Ash said Friday the team is still in the market for a closer-type reliever, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He said the team would like to make a move before spring training opens.

Ash said Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon and free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez are in play for the Brewers.

However, there is no apparent interest in signing former Nationals closer Rafael Soriano, and Ash said former Tigers reliever Joba Chamberlain doesn't fit their plans either.

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Snider trade should free up at-bats for Pirates' Andrew Lambo
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

Saving money wasn't the only motivation for the Pirates to trade outfielder Travis Snider to the Orioles earlier this week, according to Pittsburgh columnist Dejan Kovacevic. Pirates general manager Neal Huntington is eager to see what Andrew Lambo can do with 200-300 plate appearances at the MLB level, so trading Snider helped free up at-bats.

“I’m excited. I’m beyond excited for the opportunity,” Lambo said. “At the same time, I liked Travis. Everyone liked Travis. I know he was a big part of the team, a big part of the clubhouse and … well, I just have to be myself. I have to be the player, the person I am and show up every day to help the Pirates win. I’m grateful to be getting that chance.”

Lambo was sent to the minors last season after a rough spring training. He battled through a thumb injury, but once he returned to 100 percent, Lambo got on track offensively. He hit .328 with a .563 slugging percentage and .952 OPS in 61 games for Triple-A Indianapolis before he was back in the majors in late August.

“The way I look at it, I battled back, I came back,” he said. “I was there in Pittsburgh playing in games that mattered in front of full houses and against the Cardinals or Johnny Cueto, and I feel like I grew up there, like I matured.”

Lambo will now go to spring training looking to grab a bench spot as a fourth outfielder/backup first baseman.

“Honestly, this is the first time in my career I just relaxed, checked out a little bit," he said. "I was always running around the Arizona Fall League or winter ball and now … I don’t know, I feel like this has been good. I feel hungry. I want to get out there and prove … not to everybody but to my team that I can do the job. I can’t wait for that.”

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Report: Rays hold workout for Moncada, still unlikely to sign him
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

The Rays held a private workout Wednesday for Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Rays baseball operations president Matt Silverman was in attendance to watch Moncada's workout.

However, despite bringing in Moncada for a workout, it still seems unlikely the Rays will sign the 19-year-old prospect. Silverman acknowledged last week they had interest in Moncada, but were not likely "to be the winners of an auction.''

Moncada is expected to get a deal worth at least $30 million to $40 million. He has reportedly worked out for several teams, including the Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox and Giants.

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Braves SP Mike Foltynewicz set to compete for spot in rotation
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

Newly acquired starting pitcher Mike Foltynewicz, who was acquired in the Evan Gattis trade with Houston, will compete for the final spot in the Braves' rotation this spring. Bo Porter, who is now Atlanta's third-base coach after serving as the Astros manager, gave his scouting report of the 6-4, 220-pound right-hander to MLB.com.

"He definitely has the skill set," Porter said. "You look at the overall package -- he has an overpowering fastball, his breaking ball is something he started to use more once he arrived at the major-league level and his changeup is a work in progress. But when you look at his size and his competitiveness, he has that bulldog mentality."

Foltynewicz is considered the Braves' second-best prospect by MLB.com. He went 7-7 with a 5.08 ERA in 21 outings (18 starts) at Triple-A in 2014. He also made 16 relief appearances at the major-league level last season, going 0-1 with a 5.30 ERA.

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Orioles considering spring training invite for Mark Hendrickson
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com

The Orioles are considering a spring training invite for pitcher Mark Hendrickson , according to MASN.

Hendrickson has been linked to the Orioles for some time now. He threw for the club back in June, and recently had a workout at the team's recent minicamp. The 40-year-old Hendrickson has completely remade his windup. He now throws from a submarine style angle. Hendrickson hasn't pitched in the majors since 2011. 

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